$150k to create a centre of excellence in waste management

THE NSW Government has confirmed the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation (NRJO) as the recipient of a $150,000 JO Capacity Building Fund to develop the area as a centre of excellence for waste micro-industries.

The funds will be used to development a business case on converting waste materials into value-added recycling and upcycling materials.

The project will focus on minimising energy-intensive transportation of waste, promoting and supporting viable local economies and jobs plus developing a facility that features distributed manufacturing.

Distributed manufacturing is a form of decentralised manufacturing using a network of geographically dispersed manufacturing facilities that are co-ordinated via IT.

The NRJO represents the Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed NSW local government areas, and its role is to facilitate advocacy, political representation and cooperative action on matters of regional significance.

NRJO Chair, Cr Danielle Mulholland, said the most appropriate site for a microfactory facility will be identified.

"(It would) process waste materials as a resource, through innovative thinking and practices, which will enhance sustainability and produce value-added green and market-competitive materials and products," she explained.

"The Project Steering Committee has requested that Lismore City Council prepare the procurement documentation for a consultant to develop the business case, on behalf of the NRJO."

Cr Mulholland was re-elected as the chair of the organisation at their latest meeting on Friday, June 26.

Lismore mayor Issac Smith was elected as deputy chair.

Former executive officer Isabel Pedriau, who is retiring, will be part of a selection committee to chose her successor, after applications for the role closed last week.

"I'd like to thank Isabel Pedriau, who has been our executive officer since the creation of the JO two years ago, for her fantastic work," Cr Mulholland said.

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